In a recent article, titled “How Telematics Has Completely Revolutionized the Management of Fleet Vehicles” published in Entrepreneur (Click HERE), the case is made on how UPS managed to increase maintenance intervals (reduce total number of inspections and PMs) while increasing fleet reliability:
That’s right: UPS went from 240,000 preventative maintenance inspections per year to 120,000.
Director of automotive engineering Dale Spencer, who oversees the UPS fleet, explains that…For decades, UPS used the same maintenance schedule: changing the oil, fluids and brakes at prescribed intervals, no matter what…[now] UPS has learned to trust the [telematic] data–to monitor every truck remotely, from a high-temperature warning to signals as to whether a driver is wearing a seat belt. “We have the driver data; we know how fast they’re driving, how hard they’re stopping,” Spencer says. “That driver will change bad habits before it costs us money.”
With Telematics, it is easy to spot problems before they’d typically surface in normal PM inspections. Some fleets are using the GeoTab program to spot failing alternators up to two weeks prior to the anticipated failure — giving them the luxury of pulling the vehicle when it is most convenient for their shop instead of dealing with a roadside failure later on.
It’s more than just cutting PM frequency to save money — it can be a powerful predictor of future recalls and warranty issues:
The software also allows the company to spot wear trends. “We could see certain parts wearing out on the same vehicles too quickly,” Spencer says. That enabled UPS to go back to the vehicle manufacturer and argue for a warranty claim because it was possible to document a pattern. Even a small-business owner with a 10-vehicle fleet might have such an advantage, he says, “as long as they had the data to prove it.”
Telematics can also identify aggressive drivers who wear out vehicles faster than the norm within your fleet. Drivers who accelerate, brake and swerve in harsh ways tend to kill the lifespan of brakes, burn fuel efficiency and damage steering and control systems. Often, these are the same drivers who top the list of “most crashes” before being asked to drive someplace else.
At the end of the day, the hardware and software your team purchases is important, but even more important will be the customer service support, the hand holding, the networking/benchmarking with other clients and the ability to integrate data into existing systems — all hallmarks of the GeoTab system offered by SafetyFirst (Click Here)
With SafetyFirst, we can integrate:
- Scored MVRs (using your scoring system)
- Aggregated Driver Risk Scoring (using crash data, HMD reports, MVRs and telematics)
- Safety hotline reports (aka How’s My Driving – third generation)
- Online Training Modules (5-7 minutes, newly produced, tailored to specific issues including speed alerts from telematics)
- DOT DQ File Maintenance (online)
Further, these are all 100% in-house built systems — not merely a patch work assembly of multiple, third-party products that have been stitched together.